A full-time career can be challenging. Now, tack on motherhood to that and you’re looking at a schedule that most people think is impossible. And, while true balance is going to be impossible (sometimes you’re going to work late and sometimes you’re going to sleep in…that’s okay), below are some ways that we, as mothers, can prioritize ourselves (this isn’t selfish) so we can continue to give our best to our family and our jobs and not grow burnt out.
It’s trendy to talk about, but self-care is vital. You can’t expect to pour into others if you yourself are approaching the day to day from an empty cup. Even in the midst of a busy schedule, taking 30 minutes of the day to work out, read a great book, schedule meaningful conversations with your partner, etc. can prove wonders for your overall mental health. While these can sometimes seem like additional things to do, they really do pay dividends in the end.
This is especially important when much of us are working from home, but setting boundaries with work is huge. When daily trips to the office aren’t taking place, it’s easy to work late at night or at all odd hours of the day. But I’ve found, and many agree with me, that the more we can set boundaries for ourselves and not allow work time to bleed into our family time (harkening back to boundaries, here) the better chance we have at preserving our mental health. This takes me to my next point…
The power of setting a schedule and sticking to it is huge. Studies have even shown that waking up at the same time is great for your mental health. Now, any working mom reading this will know that your perfectly crafted schedule is going to get thrown off balance a lot — and this is okay! But this doesn’t mean that setting a schedule and, to the best of your abilities, sticking to it isn’t huge. Making a schedule for work, fitness, and hobbies is important — and don’t forget family! You may feel strange “penciling in” family, but it’s the most important thing in life, and if you leave it off the list you take the chance of consistently prioritizing other things in its place.
Keeping your boundaries in place will probably require creativity and fluidity. For example, if your kids are all involved in extracurricular activities and you’re running yourself into the ground just getting everyone where they need to be, try thinking outside the box and carpooling with other parents, for instance.